There are two ladies here discussing Things. First they talked about their children and then about Woolworths. Then, a water meter (broken). They have not looked at any books yet. Maybe they won’t. It often happens this way when people meet unexpectedly in a shop.
Today, my quiet door is hard at work. Earlier, a young man had thanked me for alphabetical order. He had held both hands out and said, ‘Thank you for alphabetical order…you’ve no idea what a difference it makes!’ His friend said, ‘Let’s go’, and edged the decision toward the door where the talking ladies moved aside without seeing him. But the young man was not ready to go. He was at Poetry. He suddenly said, ‘Get me out of here, I can’t go on’, and his friend said, ‘Thank God’, and they went outside to check phones, holding the door open, and we heard one of them say, ‘Sue isn’t a real vegan anyway.’ We could also hear a man in a suit standing next to his parked car with a coffee, and saying into his phone, ‘Do you want to drop those ladders off? Just go to my house then. Just bloody do it. Yeah….. yeah, ok…..yeah, I know….God. Why?’
The door closed
It opened. It was Don, hoping for his book on the Australian cameleers, but it was not in yet. As he left, he shouted back through the slowly closing door, ‘Off to Moonta with the Mrs, can’t wait. There’s history up there.’
The door shut. It opened.
‘Hello, hello, can we browse? Just been in the bakery. John’s still finishing his bun.’ Then she shouted back to someone else, ‘Get John.’
Outside, the man in the suit was saying, ‘And at the end of the day shit happens. I know that for a fact. Have you heard from your lawyer?’
The door shut.
The talking ladies moved comfortably into the doorway again.
A man asked for Lee Child. A lady asked for Sue Grafton. A couple asked for The Diary of Anne Frank (the uncut version). They told me that when they went to Amsterdam etc.
The man outside finished his call and began another.
People came along the footpath from both directions. There was a wild commotion of dogs. Everyone stopped and apologised, and said that their dog doesn’t usually do that etc.
The man outside is repeating into his phone that at the end of the day, shit happens, and he has always known this.
A child in the front room is standing motionless with a copy of The Hobbit on her head and staring through the window. She says to her mother, ‘Can we get this?’ and her mother nods without looking up.
The ladies in the doorway are leaving. I can hear them going up the footpath, ‘Well, I just tried it with beetroot, and the results were fair at least…’